Springboks' preparations for second Test against Georgia thrown into further disarray

06 July 2021 - 18:07 By liam del carme
The Springboks.
The Springboks.
Image: WESSEL OOSTHUIZEN/GALLO IMAGES

The Springboks' preparations for the second Test against Georgia has been thrown into further disarray after they've had to postpone their team announcement as a result of Lood de Jager's positive Covid-19 test.

SA Rugby had announced that De Jager returned a positive outcome in scheduled testing and that because of his close contact with a number of squad members‚ the entire group has gone into isolation.

“The team suspended their training programme for Monday and placed the squad in preventive isolation before further PCR testing and a review by the Medical Advisory Group (MAG)‚” SA Rugby said before adding “the entire team and management had PCR tests on Tuesday morning‚ and will remain in isolation until the results and subsequent recommendations are received from MAG.”

The postponement raises the question whether the team should proceed with plans for Friday night's second Test against Georgia at Ellis Park.

With a tight forward testing positive, team management will be extra vigilant to contain the spread of the virus in the camp. Though De Jager has been a long-term injury casualty he was in the final throes of returning to match fitness and would have been considered for Friday night's Test.

With him not considered, the Springbok medical staff will have to pull out all the stops to restore fellow lock Eben Etzebeth to full fitness. Etzebeth injured a rib in the first Test and played only one half.

Another convalescing lock‚ RG Snyman‚ won't just miss this weekend's clash but might miss the entire series against the B & I Lions. He is still recovering from the fire pit accident in which he and Munster teammates Damian de Allende‚ CJ Stander and Mike Haley were injured last month.

“RG Snyman is now out of the squad. He's not with us‚ he went for a skin graft operation‚” assistant coach Deon Davids told journalists. “Obviously he will start the process of rehabilitation‚ and as he recovers and we get medical updates‚ he will return to the squad‚” said Davids.

He added that it was unlikely that Snyman would face the touring Lions. “At this stage I think there's a small chance that he will be part of the British & Irish Lions Test series. But he will definitely return to the group for Test matches that lie ahead in the Rugby Championship and the end of the year tour‚” said Davids.

Should Etzebeth be sidelined for Friday's Test, the Boks are likely to include Franco Mostert and Marvin Orie in their starting line-up.

The Springboks won the opening Test 40-9 at Loftus last Friday.

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